Skip to Main Content

Federal Public Access Mandates

About the OSTP Directive

In August 2022, the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a memorandum on Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research calling on federal agencies "to update their public access policies as soon as possible to make publications and research funded by taxpayers publicly accessible, without an embargo or cost". 

  • The goal of the memo is to provide free, immediate (without embargo), and equitable access to research that is federally funded.
  • Applies to all federal agencies, including those that fund Humanities and Social Sciences research.
  • Applies to both peer reviewed publications and the underlying scientific data.

See more on these directives and learn more on Public Access Mandates for Federally Funded Research.   

  • The August 2022 directive builds upon the February, 2013, OSTP and the White House directive requiring federally funded agencies receiving more than $100M in R&D to develop public access policies for peer-reviewed articles resulting from federal funding.  
  • Federal Public Access plans resulting from the 2013 OSTP memo can be found on

This updated policy guidance will eliminate the current 12-month embargo period and make articles and the underlying data needed to validate their results available in machine-readable formats. The memorandum also contains key provisions that aim to promote equity in the publishing of and access to federally funded research as well as to improve scientific research integrity. The memorandum applies to all U.S. federal agencies with R&D expenditures, significantly expanding the scope of current federal policy.

Updates on Policies Related to each Agency.


Time Frame for Implementation

Key dates:

  • August 25, 2022, Nelson Memo published.
  • December 31, 2024, Deadline for agencies to publish final public access policies.
  • December 31, 2025, New policies become effective no later than this date.

The time frame for implementation of the memorandum has two components:

  • First, agencies must develop new public plans or update existing ones for submission to OMB and OSTP. Agencies that were subject to the 2013 Holdren Memo and already have public access plans have a shorter timeline and must submit their plans within the next six months (180 days). The remaining agencies have a full year (360 days) to submit their plans for review.
  • Second, once OMB and OSTP review their plans, agencies must publish their final policy implementation plans by December 31st, 2024, with an effective date no later than one year after the publication of the agency plan. We note that this could mean the plans from agencies subject to the Holdren Memo could go into effect sooner than December 31st, 2024.

All new and updated agency public access plans for publications and data will go into effect no later than 2025. 

The University of Illinois at Chicago University Library provides consultations on article and data management planning and compliance with these public access mandates.

For questions or details about the specific policies and requirements, email email Sandy De Groote, Scholarly Communication Librarian ( or contact your liaison librarian.

When might my research begin to be affected?

The memo requires that all agency policies will be in effect by December 31, 2025. While some may put their policies into effect sooner, most agencies will likely take the full amount of time to develop and prepare their policies and procedures. If you're planning research projects that are set to receive funding in 2025 or beyond, you should be prepared for new policies or procedures that are developed in response to the memo.

2013 OSTP Memo Public Access Plans

Federal Public Access plans resulting from the 2013 OSTP memo can be found on